National Campaign for Education urges free schooling for children

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 10, 2018-

The National Campaign for Education (NCE), an umbrella body of around 239 educational organisations, has suggested that the high-level education commission incorporate provisions of free basic education to every child into education policy as per the spirit of the constitution.

The commission comprising stakeholders on education, including experts, is working on the policy which will guide the entire education system in the country—from the pre-primary to the university level. Drafted after a wide range of consultations at the central and provincial levels, the NCE report suggests the commission draft a policy that ensures a child does not have to pay tuition fee, textbooks, day meal, basic health and uniform till grade eight.

It also recommends a clear provision for reducing the dropout cases and ensuring the learning achievement among the students. Despite a significant growth in access for children to school education, the dropout and quality remains a huge challenge.

A recent report by the Education Review Office under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, which does quality testing at the school level to measure students’ achievements, shows a considerable drop in the quality of education in 2017 from the 2013 standards. The study, conducted among 46,266 eighth grade students at 1,950 public and private schools in 26 districts, shows the performance of students in mathematics has slipped from 508 in 2013 to 492 in 2017. The research was conducted using a multi-stage sampling technique and Item Response Theory, taking 500 as the mean value of performance.

A biennial report published by the Center for Education and Human Resource Development 2017 showed that only 74.3 percent of the children enrolled in the first grade reached the fifth grade, while 45 percent quit school before completing basic education. Just about 40 percent of students reach the tenth grade.

The NCE also has suggested that the government allocate 20 percent of the total national budget or budget amounting to 6 percent of the GDP to the education sector. Despite its global commitment, the government currently allocates around 10.5 percent of national budget to the education sector.

“There has to be a clear policy in place to define the roles of the three tiers of government in ensuring free and compulsory education,” reads the NCE’s report. It also suggests the federal government should make a broad framework of the curriculum, however, all the local levels should be free to design their own curriculum based on the framework.

Published: 10-10-2018 07:25

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